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In memory & Legacy

Join the RUH Light and Love virtual remembrance service

The Forever Friends Appeal, the charity for the Royal United Hospitals Bath is inviting the local community to come together to be part of its annual remembrance service.

The virtual ceremony will take place on Monday 6 December and will be streamed through The Forever Friends Appeal website between 11am and 6pm and will allow people to reflect together and celebrate the lives of loved ones who they have lost, whether they were cared for at the RUH or elsewhere.

The event will also help support the hospital’s RUH Palliative Care and End of Life Butterfly Fund and there will be an opportunity to remember loved ones names on a compassionate heart or star that will be placed on a tree of ‘Light and Love’ and displayed throughout the month of December. Dedication of names of loved ones will also be shown during the service.

Philip Turner, Deputy Team Chaplain at the RUH said: “‘The loss we feel is personal, but by coming together with others who are also wrestling with their grief, we can feel less alone. While restrictions at the hospital still prevent us from being in the same place, together we can create a similar space in our hearts.  Wherever you are, you are invited to join together with others for our ‘Light and Love’ live event.”

Helen Meehan, Lead Nurse Palliative and End of Life Care said: “Caring for people nearing the end of life and supporting their families is one of the most important things that we do at the RUH. Not many of us express a wish for where we might die, many of us would wish to be at home if asked, but for many it is in hospital where they are cared for in the last days of life.”

Your support in memory of your loved ones through this special event will help us continue to provide compassionate care to patients and their families. Gifts donated to the Butterfly fund in dedication to your loved ones will help provide the little things that will make a compassionate difference to caring for our patients nearing End of Life.

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Couple’s £10,500 gift to RUH marks Baby Loss Awareness Week

A Wiltshire couple who tragically lost their twin baby girls have raised more than £10,500 to help other grieving parents at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.

Ali and Holly Jay, from Grittleton, presented their cheque to midwives who cared for their family, marking the start of national Baby Loss Awareness Week activities (October 9-15) at the RUH.

The donation to the hospital’s charity The Forever Friends Appeal and the baby loss charity Aching Arms will go towards creating an outdoor courtyard area next to the maternity unit’s Forget Me Not bereavement suite.

The couple completed a 24-hour, 70-mile sponsored walk around their neighbourhood, supported by friends, family and members of their local community.

Ali said: “We can’t say thank you enough to everyone who helped us to raise this money, and thank you to the amazing RUH staff who’ve done so much for us. We really wanted to give back something to you and to do something positive to help other people who’ll experience the loss of a child.”

Bereavement Midwife Bex Walsh said: “We’re really grateful to Ali and Holly for this incredibly generous donation. It’ll make a real and lasting difference. It’s good too that this helps to raise awareness of baby loss so that families do not suffer in silence. Talking about baby loss will help mums, dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles feel able to share their grief and honour their baby’s memory.

“Our Forget Me Not bereavement suite provides a space away from the busy maternity ward where grieving families who have experienced the death of a baby can have the privacy they need at a particularly difficult time. Having a dedicated outdoor area will further improve this service we provide here.”

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Running for my Dad – Ben’s #ReasonToRun

Ben Wood from Bath is getting ready to take on the ultimate challenge of running the London Marathon on 3rd October in memory of his father.

The 41st Virgin Money London Marathon is back with a bang this October, with 100,000 people set to take part across an in-person and a virtual event.  This year’s event is set to make history as the world’s biggest marathon ever.

Ben is powering through his training runs with a smile, and has already raised over £1,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal – the official NHS charity for the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH Bath).  Funds will specifically go to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to say thank you for caring for his father, Adrian Wood.

Ben said: “In May 2016, my Dad very sadly passed away at RUH Bath ICU.  Honestly, it was a very scary time. The staff in the ICU did a fantastic job keeping my family and I informed and reassured during our time there. Though dad very sadly passed away, both he and my family always remained optimistic. A feeling I personally carry on to this day in all aspects of life.

I am a firm believer in the importance to always have a sense of humour, even in the darkest of times. Laughter is the release of tension and spreads positivity. The staff would often join me, my family and dad in simply having a laugh. To me there is no greater feeling and connection than this.

When Dad passed, I lost a part of my past and it was an incredibly tough time for my family and I. Though rather than be consumed by the hardship, I knew I wanted to turn it into something positive and to create a better future. With my Dad’s love of all things sport and helping others, I thought of no better way of honouring his memory than running the London Marathon for RUH Bath ICU who cared for dad in his last few weeks.

I have never really been active or had any physical fitness or skills (I couldn’t run a bath without breaking a sweat!). Though despite this, and despite experiencing plenty of failures, as we all do in life, I have always been a strong believer that you can achieve anything you set your mind to despite the challenges.

Ben’s fundraising will help support patients at their most vulnerable.  Margerinta Jenkins, Matron of Critical Care and Outreach, said: “The incredibly poignant memories of Ben’s experience, captures the essence of what we as a team try to create for our patients and families. Hearing of Ben’s challenge to himself, getting out of his comfort zone to raise money for our unit is incredibly humbling. Such actions give us the opportunity to improve our patients and families experience and we as a team cannot thank Ben enough.”

Ben is an inspiration to us all. He is setting himself a big challenge and is proving that anyone can achieve their goals, whether that’s to run a marathon or something a little smaller.

Choosing to fundraise to say thank you to the hospital is a really personal and amazing thing to do. We’re very proud to have Ben on our marathon team!

If you would like to show your support to Ben you can make a donation on his JustGiving page.


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John’s 3,000 mile motorcycle challenge in memory of late wife

Original article from Gazette & Herald.

A ROWDE man is taking on a poignant journey across Great Britain in honour of his late wife.

John Dalley lost his wife Delia, known as Dee, on July 14.

She was diagnosed with liver cancer in June 2020 and was given only six months to live.

John, from Rowde and Dee from Potterne, met at school and were together for 17 years.

“She was just 55,” he told the Gazette.

“Dee was bubbly, kind and loving – she was a really lovely lady. We’ve been cheated out of a loving mother and grandmother.”

Dee worked as a carer across the county and had a gentle and positive spirit. She will be missed by her family, as well as the Rowde community.

She leaves behind a daughter, Gema and a son, Liam.

John is currently taking on a massive fundraising journey across football, cricket and rugby grounds to raise as much money as he can for both Dorothy House Hospice Care and the RUH’s Forever Friends Appeal.

Back in 2011, John had visited all 92 football league club grounds on a 30-year-old Honda 250 Superdream and raised £3,500.

The ride celebrated the 25 years since he and the late John Pearce founded Rowde Football Club.

He had hoped to do a similar ride for his ten year anniversary, but did not expect that Dee would not be by his side for the journey.

“Dee went downhill really rapidly, the cancer absolutely ravaged her,” John said.

“She fought long and hard, and very bravely. She really encouraged me to do this and knew I’d been wanting to do a 10 year anniversary ride anyway. She held my hand and said I had to do it.”

John started the challenge last week and will finish at Dorothy’s House on Monday, August 16.

He will travel around 3,000 miles on his motorbike and has already ticked off grounds in Oxford, Swindon, Northampton, Burton and Birmingham.

With many more to go, he hopes to reach Scunthorpe on Saturday (August 7) in time to see Swindon Town kick off their new season.

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It’s Dying Matters Week

Dying Matters – are you in a good place?

This Dying Matters Awareness Week, (10-16 May), the palliative care team at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging families to think about what is important to them at the end of life, to talk about it and to plan for it, so that we are better prepared to support our loved ones when they are nearing end of life.

The focus of Dying Matters Week 2021 is the importance of being in a good place to die. Recent years have seen a change in where people die, with more people dying at home and out of hospital. The pandemic over this last year has seen this number increase even more.

Helen Meehan, RUH Lead Nurse for Palliative Care and End of Life, said: “There is no right or wrong place to die – it will be different for everyone. But it is important for families to think about it, to talk about it and to plan for it.  We want people of all ages to be in a good place when they die – physically, emotionally and with the right care in place. Getting there means having some important conversations about what matters to the individual and their family in relation to end of life care, dying and bereavement.

“Not many of us express a wish for where we might die, many of us would wish to be at home if asked, but for many it is hospital where people are cared for in the last days of life.

“The COVID pandemic has brought so many challenges – especially caring for those at the end for life and their families, but we have such a responsibility for ensuring that we provide compassionate, supportive and dignified care at this time.”

End of life care at the RUH, which has been rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, is supported by the RUH’s charity The Forever Friends Appeal. It has recently funded Memory Boxes supplied to every ward to help create special memories and keepsakes for patients nearing end of life and their families. It also supplies bereavement bags, providing a sensitive way of returning personal belongings to family members. The design on the bags uses the butterfly symbol which is used across the hospital to identify priorities of care. More information and details of how to donate to the Butterfly Fund can be found here.

Another initiative is the Compassionate Companion Service, in partnership with Dorothy House Hospice Care and funded by RUH’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal with a grant from the Sperring Trust. This service enables specially-trained volunteers to offer support, compassionate listening, comfort and companionship to patients in their last days of life at the hospital.

The Chaplaincy team has helped to arrange marriages at short notice under a special license for patients nearing the end of life. The RUH palliative care team has also created special wedding boxes that contain bunting, fairy lights, ceramic hearts as a keepsake gift, flowers, bubbles and a wedding card, which the wards can request to support the marriage of a couple when time is so precious.

For more information visit the Dying Matters website.

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“Remembering Together” those who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic

People across Bath and North East Somerset and Wiltshire whose loved ones have died during the coronavirus pandemic are being invited to join an online community service of remembrance. The Community Remembering Together Service will be broadcast on Wednesday 24 March at 7pm via the Bath Abbey YouTube channel and will be available here:


The event is organised jointly by the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Dorothy House Hospice Care, Bath Abbey, SWALLOW Charity and Bath and North East Somerset Council.

RUH Lead Chaplain, the Reverend Narinder Tegally, said: “The service is intended to bring together those within the local community, who follow a professed faith or no faith, to remember all those who have died across Bath and North East Somerset, Wiltshire and Somerset at the RUH, at Dorothy House, in our local care homes and at home since the virus first arrived last year.

“As places of worship are currently closed for communal acts of devotion, the service will be pre-recorded and offered online. Not only is this an opportunity for people to remember those who have died during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is also a way for the wider community to be together, to grieve together and support all in the local community who have had their lives significantly changed by it.”

The Community Remembering Together Service will include:

  • An address by The Rt Revd Ruth Worsley, Bishop of Taunton
  • Personal stories from two bereaved families
  • Reading from Wayne De Leeuw, CEO of Dorothy House Hospice Care
  • Prayers, readings and poetry offered from different faith traditions and none.
  • During this service, people will be invited to light a candle at home
  • Music by the RUH musician in residence, and Christchurch and Bath Abbey Choirs
  • Closing words from Cara Charles Barks MBE, CEO of the RUH Bath
  • Song by SWALLOW – South West Action for Learning and Living Our Way Supporting people with learning disabilities

This time of remembrance will offer a central act of devotion and remembrance for all. It will focus upon the lighting of candles as a sign of hope and renewal as well as a time of celebrating the lives of those who have died and also giving thanks for all who have cared for them.

The Rt Revd Ruth Worsley, Bishop of Taunton, said: “This time last year we’d only just heard of Covid-19. Now, a year on, it’s totally turned our lives upside down, taking away so many things we’d previously taken for granted, but above all, taking away many people who are dear to us and our communities. It’s been made so much more difficult by us not being able to have proper funeral services. So many people have not been able to gather together with family and friends to say goodbye as they would have wished. Our hope is that the Remembering Together Service will provide some of that solace and sharing in loss that is part of bereavement.”

Imam Dr Mohammed Gamal Abdelnour, Imam of Bath Mosque, said: “Offering condolences and sharing in grief with the family and friends of the deceased are considered valued acts of charity in Islam. However, coronavirus has largely changed the way we grieve, the way we honour the demise of our loved ones, and also the way we express our condolences. All these manifestations doubled our grief and added salt to our wounds. Believing in God’s ultimate mercy and mysterious wisdom, I pray that the Remembering Together Service will help heal our griefs and revitalize the sense of togetherness that we have missed since the virus began Amin.”

Bath MP Wera Hobhouse said: “The pandemic has been a great challenge in our lives, and this is especially true for those who have lost loved ones. In addition to this, I know that many in our community are missing the chance to worship communally and draw comfort from being together. I am pleased to welcome news of this event, which will help to bring peace and comfort to those who have suffered the most.”

Cllr Dine Romero, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “As we approach the first anniversary since the first death from coronavirus in the UK, it’s only fitting that we should come together to remember those we have lost. Anyone who have been affected by the devastating effects of this terrible virus should join us and light a candle and remember loved ones. This is an anniversary that no-one wanted, but if we … … keep working together and doing the right things, we will drive the numbers down and get through these dark times.”

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Join our Light and Love remembrance service

This year the Royal United Hospitals Bath will be live streaming its annual Light and Love remembrance event.

The virtual ceremony will take place on Thursday 3 December at 3pm to allow people to celebrate the lives of loved ones who they have lost, whether they were cared for at the RUH or elsewhere.

People will also have the opportunity to request to have the names of those they wish to remember read out during the ceremony, as well as have a heart displayed on the tree which will be in the hospital’s Spiritual Care Centre.

Philip Turner, Deputy Team Chaplain at the RUH said: “‘The loss we feel is personal, but by coming together with others who are also wrestling with their grief, we can feel less alone.

“While lockdown prevents us from being in the same place, together we can create a similar space in our hearts.  Wherever you are, you are invited to join together with others for our ‘Love and Light’ live event.’

This year, you can make an online donation with your dedicated name to support our RUH patients and staff.

To sign up to the virtual event simply click here

The deadline to request a dedication is Monday 30 November.

For more information, please contact our Legacy Manager Jan Witt on 01225 825819 or email jan.witt@nhs.net.


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RUH Will Month returns for November

Our ever-popular RUH Will Month is returning in November to help the public make or update their Will at a reduced cost. You can now book your appointment to have your Will written with participating legal firms.

Ten legal firms across Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset are taking part and their fees will be donated to the Royal United Hospitals Bath’s fundraising charity, The Forever Friends Appeal. Special procedures have been put in place to ensure that clients will be in a safe environment during appointments.

RUH Will Month will run for one month only, helping people put their affairs in order by having a single standard Will written for £125 or a standard Mirror Wills or joint Wills written for £175.

Jan Witt, the Appeal’s Tribute and Legacy Manager said:

“It may come as a surprise that fewer than half of the population have an up-to-date Will, despite its importance in offering you peace of mind and security for both you and your family.

“Often having a Will written can be expensive, therefore, we’d like to urge people to take advantage of this Will writing offer at the reduced rates to ensure your savings and possessions go to the people and causes you love and care for.

“It is easy to take part in this offer, simply call any one of the participating solicitors listed on our website and make an appointment for November, quoting ‘RUH Will Month’. At the meeting the solicitor will guide you through the process and will ensure that your Will reflects your wishes.”

This is the sixth consecutive year that RUH Will Month has run with substantial funds being raised every year for various causes across the hospital such as the Dyson Cancer Centre, research programmes and specialist medical equipment.

This year funds raised by the initiative will be put towards the charity’s speech and language special appeal. The Appeal is raising £50,000 to purchase a portable machine to enhance the care given to patients who have swallowing difficulties. The equipment will enable speech and language therapists to provide an alternative bedside assessment – reducing the waiting time to attend the X-ray clinic which can sometimes take a number of weeks.

The need for the mobile equipment has become even more pressing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients who have been on a ventilator have a 30% chance of suffering from swallowing difficulties. So, having this machine will really help the Speech and Language Therapy Team to assess COVID patients, either in ITU or in other parts of the hospital.

Catherine Cawley, Clinical Specialist and Speech and Language Therapist, RUH said: “Being able to eat and drink without a second thought is something most of us take for granted. But sadly many people have problems swallowing as a result of conditions such as having a stroke, Parkinson’s disease and dementia. It is a serious issue as it can cause coughing and choking when you eat and drink, which can lead to chest infections, increased hospital admission and lengthier stays in hospital.

“Having this machine will be a game changer – we will be able to give our patients a quicker diagnosis, recommend treatment and reduce the possibility of further medical complications.”

However, participants can choose to support another campaigns or special appeal if they prefer.

Interested in having a Will written? Contact one of the participating solicitor firms as soon as possible as appointments get fully booked quickly. The full list of solicitors can be found on our website click here

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Kelly’s tribute fund raises over £25k for Dyson Cancer Centre

A tribute fund that was set up in memory of a young mother who lost her battle with cancer has raised over £25,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal.

Kelly Ross was only 32 when she died in 2015, leaving Jack (11 months) and Ruby (3) behind. She had always spoken about supporting the Appeal, so her family decided to set up a personal tribute fund through the charity to fundraise towards the new Dyson Cancer Centre at the hospital.

Five years on and the family have organised and taken part in a variety of events and challenges, including football matches, raffles and running marathons to name but a few.  Earlier this year year Kelly’s daughter Ruby, now 9, organised a coffee morning in their home town of Devizes and raised £1,700.

With fundraising activities being cancelled this year Kelly’s brother Ashley with his wife Katie and brother in Law, Jason Muir, decided to take on their biggest challenge yet by attempting a non-stop version of the White Horse Trail, a 80-mile hike that links all of the White Horses in Wiltshire. Friends and family joined them for sections of the three-day trek and they were greeted at the final White Horse by Kelly’s parents, as well as Ruby and Jack.

Following the event Katie said: “From the bottom of our hearts thank you so much to everyone who has donated, joined us and sent messages of love and support. We couldn’t have done it without you all. We are all doing this for Kelly who is worth every penny, every blister, every ache and pain!”

More than £3,000 was raised from the hike, bringing the grand total raised by the tribute fund since its inception to over £25,000.  As a result the family are now Senior Partners of the charity and will see Kelly’s name in the Dyson Cancer Centre.

Jan Witt, Legacy & Tribute Manager at the Forever Friends Appeal said: “The Forever Friends Appeal relies on the wonderful generosity of families out in the community who wish to celebrate the lives of their loved ones through fundraising. Setting up a personal tribute fund really does help make a really big difference to the patients and their families who are cared for at the RUH.

“Acknowledging the Kelly Ross Tribute Fund as a Senior Family Partner is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for everything her family, friends and colleagues have done in her honour.”

To find out more about setting up a tribute fund in memory of a loved one please click here


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NEW! Free online will service

We are pleased to have launched a free online Will-writing service to help the local community make or update their Wills from the comfort of their own homes.

To offer this service, we have partnered with Beyond, one of the UK’s top online Will-writing providers to provide the service. The cost for a single will is usually £90, but for a limited period it is being offered free of charge.

Jan Witt, Legacy and In Memory Manager said:

“We are delighted  to team up with Beyond to offer a free, quick and easy online Will writing service to the local community. We fully understand that during these uncertain times, many people are thinking about their current situation and wish to put their affairs in order. We are therefore pleased to offer this free online will service to enable everyone to make a Will, giving them peace of mind.

“This offer is free for a limited period and there is no obligation to leave a gift in your Will to support The Forever Friends Appeal. However, we hope you’ll be inspired to kindly leave a ‘gift of care’ in your Will, no matter what size, to help the RUH continue to provide the high quality of care it gives to its patients and their families for the future.”

Gifts in Wills for the RUH are used to benefit many areas of the hospital including funding pioneering research, additional medical equipment, building projects and the refurbishment of wards and facilities.

Beyond’s online interactive Will service provides easy step-by-step instructions means the process to make a legally binding simple Will should only take about 15 minutes. Anyone over the age of 18 is eligible and joint Wills for married couples are also included in the offer. Every Will is checked by one of Beyond’s in-house legal experts.

Ian Strang, Beyond’s CEO said:

“Beyond are committed to protecting UK families by helping them easily write their wills online. We’re proud to partner with the charity, The Forever Friends Appeal and support the crucial work they perform for the communities of Bath.”

To take up the offer and for more details click here 

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